Book Reviews: The Queen’s Necklace

Set in France right before the French Revolution, the story depicts the reign of King Louis XVI in an economic crisis. The Queen Marie Antoinette is doing all in her power to settle down starving peasants all over the country. When the King offers the Queen a diamond worth a great sum, the Queen refuses, offering to use the money on the country. However, an imposter acquires the necklace in the name of the Queen. Simultaneously, rumors of love affairs are being passed about the Queen, again because of the imposter. Finally, the imposter is caught, and all scandals are cleared up.

I would recommend this book to patient people who enjoy figuring out long and complicated plots. This book not depicts a variety of characters, but also connects different plots. In the end, the author brings all the conflicts together to form one large, dramatic climax.
Review by Jack M. (Student)

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Book Reviews: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Super short summary as I do not want to give anything away:

Jacob Hunt, the main character, has Aspergers. He is in high schooll. The story is told from different character’s points of view, including his younger brother, mother, and his attorney.  Jacob’s tutor is found dead.  Jacob is charged with the crime.

I believe the author does an amazing job getting into the mind of a Asperberger’s student/child.  It also shows how everyone in the family is affected by Autism, how society treats those with Aspergers, and how the legal system treats those with Aspergers.
My entire family read this book this summer and we had a great book discussion in August.

Review by Ms. Shana Smith (Staff)

Book Reviews: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The book is set in World War II Germany and is told from the perspective of death, who is very busy at this time. Death tells the story of Liesel, a young German girl who is adopted by another German family after her own parents are unable to care for her. The family is sympathetic to the Jews and eventually hide a Jewish man in their basement.

I would recommend the book to people who enjoy a good story or those who are interested in Holocaust novels. The book is very well-written and engaging.

Review by Mrs. Connie Wilson (Staff)

Book Reviews: The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

A Chinese American boy is sent to an all white school in Seattle during World War II when a Japanese American girl. Faced with intense prejudice, they form a bond that is tested when her family is sent to an internment camp.

Anyone who likes stories about growing up or historical fiction would enjoy this book. I was also engaged by the love story between Henry and Keiko, the protagonists of the story.

Review by Mrs. Connie Wilson (Staff)

Book Reviews: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

This uniquely illustrated book about a 12 year old genius cartographer is a heart-breaking and absorbing look at the world through his eyes. It is innovative and a super plot  – totally keeps the reader engaged through T.S.’s adventures and philosophical musings.

People looking for a great adventure told in an extremely unique and intriguing way.

Review by Dr. Brittany Stevens (Staff)

Book Reviews: Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

Blue is a whip-smart and observant teenager (living with her college professor father) who falls in with a powerful crowd at her new school, where she transferred her senior year. The mysterious teacher who “heads” the crowd of students, Hannah, is definitely the focus of Blue’s fascination. The events that happen and the clever way Blue describes them are what make this book a must-read. The second I finished the book, I immediately flipped back to try to figure out all the clues I missed along the way. So good!!!!

Young adults who can identify with feeling understood, lonely in a crowd, etc. I think this book is also memorable for the unique style in which it is told. This mystery is a bit spooky, yet vivid and riveting.

Review by Dr. Brittany Stevens (Staff)

Book Reviews: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This fast paced thriller kept me turning the pages…I literally did not want to put it down! It’s sort of a modern “Rashomon” story – as the story deepens, you begin to wonder who is telling the truth and whether the good guys and villains are exactly as you first thought.

This is recommended for anyone who craves an exciting, twisty thriller. Be warned! You will probably stay up late reading because you won’t want to stop.

Review by Dr. Brittany Stevens (Staff)